NEW YEAR‐‐‐‐‐NEW ADVENTURES No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a term that now will be used in past tense. The new education law that replaced it is termed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA was signed into law on December 10, 2015 by President Obama. This law reauthorizes the 50‐year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) which is the original national education law and the commitment to equal opportunities for all students. 

Although NCLB presented challenges to school districts across the nation, it did challenge schools to evaluate the education that they were providing to the students and it forced accountability to providing an appropriate education to all students. Today high school graduation rates are at an all time high and more students are attending college than ever before. These achievements will provide a firm foundation for additional work to expand educational opportunity and improve student outcomes under the new ESSA.

ESSA includes provisions that will help ensure success for students and schools. ESSA is designed to fix the issues of NCLB by: 

*Holding all students to high academic standards. 

*Preparing all students for success in college and career. 

*Providing more young children access to high‐quality preschool and early interventions.

*Steps are guaranteed to be taken to help students, and their school show improvement

*Reducing the burden of testing while maintaining annual information for parents and students. 

*Promoting local innovations and invest financial dollars in what works. 

The new law was finalized in FY2017 when each state was required to have there plan to the federal government. So, does this mean the end to state assessment? No! Like NCLB, ESSA has retained annual testing for grades 3 through 8 in reading and mathematics, and once in grades 9‐12. Science testing will still be assessed at least once during grade spans 3‐5, 6‐9, and 10‐ 12. ESSA encourages the development of performance based assessments through the use of multiple measures, and it may include student specific portfolios and projects. 

Kansas has already started to set their plan into motion with the new Kansas education vision: Kansas leads the world in student success‐‐‐‐Kansan’s Can!!! In addition, Kansas has established and is in the 3rd year of the new accreditation process referred to as KESA {Kansas Education Systems Accreditation}. 

It is difficult to say what education will look like in the future, except that it will continue to evolve and adjust which will visibly be different than it does now. Then Every Student Succeeds Act from the federal level; the new vision from the state board of education; the new accreditation models will all cause change to not only the national education system but to the state education system down to the local level. As the great philosopher Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” With the new year……..will come new changes! 

I hope that each one of you had a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season.


Bill Clark, Superintendent & Director of Special Services